Five Greek rescuers who came to help due to floods in Libya die

Athens — Greece’s armed forces declared three days of national mourning after five members of a military rescue team died in a traffic accident in Libya, affected by severe flooding.

The bodies of three military officers and two civilians were flown back to a military base near Athens early on Monday, along with 13 wounded team members who were taken to military hospitals in the Greek capital.

A bus carrying the Greek team crashed on Sunday on its way to the city of Derna, which suffered devastating flood damage. The bus collided with a car coming from the opposite direction, also killing three Libyan passengers, according to local officials.

“We are all shocked by the death of the rescuers who were participating in a humanitarian mission to show solidarity with the suffering Libyan people”said Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. “I am deeply saddened by her unexpected death.”

The heavy rains caused by the Mediterranean storm Daniel caused massive flooding in eastern Libya a week ago. Two dams collapsed, causing a wall of water that killed at least 11,000 people in Derna. More than 10,000 people are missing and presumed dead. The waters swept away entire neighborhoods, bridges, cars and people into the sea.

Before crossing the Mediterraneanthe storm caused extensive damage in central Greece, where many areas remain flooded.

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